Friday, September 14, 2007

The "Almost" Emergency Surgery Visit

Now that I knew the many hidden dairy ingredients, I was constantly vigilant. One night we went to my Grandma's house and watched a movie with popcorn. I kept the buttered popcorn in a separate bowl and had some air-popped popcorn for my son. During the movie, my son was really quiet, which always means trouble! I found him behind a cushioned chair eating some of the buttered popcorn. Terrified, I took the popcorn away and cautiously waited for the reaction. When nothing happened, I went home, grateful. At 1:00 am, I was awakened by piercing screaming. Why is it that kids and emergencies always happen at 1:00 am? After an hour of screaming, we rushed him off to the emergency room. When we got there, he was still screaming. Since he couldn't verbalize what was wrong, all we could do was go through the process of elimination with the doctor. The doctor felt his tummy, and it was hard like a drum. So, off we went for x-rays, blood work, and a large dose of Tylenol for pain. All the time my son was screaming uncontrollably. When the x-rays and bloodwork came back, the doctor said that it didn't look good. His white blood cell count was up. He had multiple physicians come in to take a look at my son and at the x-rays. He took my husband and I aside and in a somber voice said that the x-rays were hard to read, but it was possible that his intestines were filled with infection and that they could burst at any moment, requiring immediate surgery. He said that there wasn't a lot of time. What!?! I wanted a second opinion. Just then, the Tylenol kicked in, and my son started letting out long streams of gas. One long toot after the other. Then, my son was quiet as a mouse, as if it was as normal a night as any. The doctor went over to him, felt his tummy, and it was nice and soft again. He looked, dismayed, at the x-rays, and said that many a doctor have been fooled by gas bubbles. Gas bubbles? Immediate surgery? What looked like infection filled intestines was actually intestines filled with gas bubbles. I couldn't believe it. Exhausted and relieved, we went home, and shortly thereafter, the sun began to rise. We had many follow-up visits and blood work just to make sure that everything was okay, and then it finally dawned on me...the popcorn!

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